ANALYSIS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Analysisof American History
Analysisof American History
This paper critically analyses the American history in a deepperspective using two articles as the main sources (President LyndonB. Johnson-April 7th, 1965 and Speech by Rev. MartinLuther King Jr., April 4th, 1967). Other secondarysignificant sources are used as well.
According to EricFiner (Give me Liberty: An American History, Volume 2- Chapter 1),America has brutally experienced multiple events of civil wars sincethe entry of Europeans. The first people to settle in America werethe natives who rather led an “uncivilized life”, and also haddifferent languages and culture variations. They had no warfareadvancement or methods of farming, comparatively to the new settlers.So, they were rather disadvantaged when it came to war and defendingtheir territories. Europeans used their “civilized” nature toconquer and rule the natives in a brutal manner. In that way, it isclearly evident that natives became slaves to their European masters.Even after this, America continued to exemplify slavery as soon asthe anti-black stereotypes emerged, which was a pre-cursor to CivilWar America. Such kinds of aggressiveness, malice, disheartenment andracial discrimination practices perpetuated internal strife inAmerica. In the early American History, at around 1776, a group ofelite British colonialists came to a consensus that containing allpossible rebellions would result to a political power, common symboland legal entity that would also prove to be successful in the nexttwo hundred years. America established its independence undertyrannical control and this was evident by suppression of theBacon’s Rebellion in Virginia in 1760, where there at leasteighteen uprisings aimed at overthrowing the incumbent government.Across other cities, from New York to South Carolina, there werealmost six black riots and other forty rebellions of such nature.Thus, the establishment of America as an independent nation, all thestates became united as one, under one government (Zinn, 1980).
With the above andbrief history of America, a few topics are presented- civil strife,use of brutal force, discrimination and warfare engagement. Thesehave all been part and parcel of the United States. In view of that,this paper will analyze the nature of America in two different years,that is, from 1965-1967. This takes into account the differentopinions of two important leaders:
AnalysisPresident Lyndon B. Johnson- April 7th,1965.
The Cold War was intensifying, and the US had to put stringentmeasures to countries that were pro-Soviet or rather supportedcommunism ideology. So, by the year 1955, President Dwight D.Eisenhower promised to support South Vietnam in waging war againstthe communist Viet Cong (Northern Vietnam). Conflict escalated inboth Vietnam partitions leading to internal strife. Consequently, in1969, President John F. Kennedy had to send a delegation to gatherintelligence on the condition of Southern Vietnam (President LyndonB. Johnson-April 7th, 1965).
The US operated ona certain idea called the “Domino Theory.” This theory wason the ground that “if any Asian country was trapped undercommunism, then other countries would follow suit.” In regards tothat, America built a military stronghold, technical and economicsupport programs that would safeguard South Vietnam from the effectsof Socialism. All this was one significant way to promote democracyin that country (President Lyndon B. Johnson-April 7th,1965).
As soon asPresident John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the war in SouthernVietnam escalated. President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded him, andfurther increased the military presence during that period. At JohnsHopkins University, April 7th, 1965, President Lyndon B.Johnson delivered a speech that pledged to foster America’sinfluence in Asia under the umbrella of supporting Southern Vietnam.America was ready to protect them under any cost. With the use oftyrannical and non-democratic mechanism, China was eager to spreadingits ideologies across Asia. China is a big country as compared toother Asian counterparts. As evident, China had already destroyedpeace in Tibet and Korea. Americas was keen on stopping suchdestructive purposes and spread of Communism to other countries(President B. Johnson-April 7th, 1965).
In the war,Operation Rolling Thunder was deployed. The US used a bombingstrategy that was massive and intended to suppress all the NorthernVietnam’s military pressure. This followed after the Gulfof Tonkin attacks by Northern Vietnamese torpedo bombs. Gulf ofTonkin Resolution was agreed upon to by the Congress, to heighten thewar and invade the Northern part in a wide scale attack. The US hadto establish itself and bash out intimidation from any country, andthus it fully committed into the liberation of Southern Vietnam. Ithad to promote the New World Order and outrun the Soviet Union(VIETNAMWAR HISTORY, 2015).
Itis seen that America continued to promote democracy across manycountries. According to President Lyndon B. Johnson, itwas the liberation of European countries such as West Germany thatfueled the defense for freedom. The World War II was fought in Asiaand Europe, and the US had an integral part in the war, so itcontinued to spread democracy with such zeal that it became the newsuper power after the Cold War era.
Despite the budgetset aside for the war in Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson wasdetermined to start a campaign that stood to alleviate poverty andracial injustices. So, he set up the Great Society Programs. Manycritics received this in a bitter way. How would the president caterfor such bigger budget programs and at the same time spend billionsof dollars in war? This was irrational and attracted wide criticismfrom anti-war Democrats. Undoubtedly, military expenditure is veryhigh, and so it uses a lot of resources. America lost a considerableamount of its soldiers in the war, and this was very much protestedby civil rights activists. However, under President Lyndon B. Johnsonoffice tenure, a few important acts were passed into legislature(Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act). The Civil Rights Actpromoted and fostered equality in employment opportunities and publicaccommodation. This was a critical time in the spread of democracy.The Voting Right Act ensured that the minority and marginalizedcommunities had equal access to democracy through voting (PresidentB. Johnson-April 7th, 1965).
The Cold WarContainment Policy was the US strategy to reduce the spread ofSoviet’s communism. The entry of America in the Southern Vietnamwar was one of the major ways to “contain” the Soviet’sinfluence. Another country saved by the Containment Policy wasSouthern Korean.
From the analysisabove, obviously, the US was on the run to suppress the Union ofSocialist Soviet Republics, and it was disintegrated leading to theemergence of the US as the new super power. Despite the militarysupremacy of the United States, it had domestic problems that were amajor shortcoming to its development. Such drawbacks are discussedbelow, in the famous speech of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Analysis ofthe Speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4th,1967
In this year, Martin Luther Jr. delivered a speech called “BeyondVietnam.” The speech was in opposition of the US involvement inexternal affairs, particularly those affiliated to war, and in thatcase, the Vietnam War. The speech had a rational capacity in that itwould help to stop the turmoil that the war had already caused to thefamilies of those directly involved with the war. The poor Americanswere used in fighting the war and normally returned home handicappedor psychologically traumatized. This situation caused angry protestsbefore the White House and so the government had to something. Thespeech was also in contention with the massive use of funds towardswar. Such funds would have been effectively used to fight poverty.Martin Luther Jr. condemned the bombing of Vietnamese and declare aunilateral truce in the wake for peace. He was a longtime friend ofthe President Lyndon B. Johnson government until it became apparentthat the war in Vietnam was beyond a democratic approach. Therefore,his relationship with the administration deteriorated. He continuedto press for the evacuation of American troops from Vietnam (Speechby Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 1967).
The speech became a powerful tool in sensitizing the masses.Arguably, the Vietnam War diverted the money that would haveotherwise been used for development purposes domestically. Maybe,such domestic programs were the social welfare support initiativesset to aid the black people.
According to the speech, America needed to fight its domesticproblems before engaging in bloody battles in other countries, in theexcuse of promoting the “rule of law.”
With the use of calm reasonableness and negotiations, peace isautomatically achieved. The use of excessive force and warfare onlyspreads more violence than the peace it might create.
These sources were very significant in analyzing the position of theUS as far as democracy is concerned. Nonetheless, the two sources hadtwo differing ideas that are:
-Use of violent methods in finding peace and spreading ideologies.
-Use of non-violent methods in making peace and spreading ideologies.
The first source,that is, analysis of President of Lyndon B. Johnson- April 7th,1965 promotes the use of warfare (violence) in spreading itsideologies whereas the second source, Analysis of the Speech by Rev.Martin Luther King Jr., April 4th, 1967 promotes peacefulmethods in making peace. Ultimately, using non-violent methods is theproper way of fostering any ideology. These historical events serveto identify the injustices that the poor and marginalized Americanpeople have experienced in the expense of supporting militarywarfare.
According to thesource by Martin Luther King Jr., it seemed that the black peoplewere being oppressed. This was largely based on the race and classdiscrimination. Poor black people were sent to the Vietnam War inlarge numbers, and according to Martin Luther Jr., this was astrategy to divert the attention from domestic programs that werebeneficial to black people. In the first source, President Lyndon B.Johnson, white supremacy reigns the top power.
Foner, E.(2005). Giveme Liberty: an American History.Vol. 2.New York: WW Norton.
President Lyndon B. Johnson-April 7th, 1965
Speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4th, 1967,New York City
Zinn, H.(1980). A People`s History of the US. New York.
VIETNAMWAR HISTORY (2015). RetrievedDecember 24th,2015, fromhttp://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history